Downtown businesses will go surfing for customers

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There isn't a beach close to downtown Aiken, but that isn't stopping officials of Aiken Downtown Development Association from planning a beach party.

The Downtown After 6 Beach Blast will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 19, in downtown Aiken.

"Each of the participating businesses will choose a favorite beach for that evening," said Carla Cloud, the association's executive director.

Most downtown Aiken stores aren't open after 6 p.m., so the event is designed to draw people downtown after hours, she said.

Plans are still in the works for the finale, which will begin about 9:15 p.m. at the Newberry Street Festival Center.

"Plans are to bring in some sand and a DJ and have a beach party," she said.

Another event this summer is the organization's dinner theater fundraiser, Murder at the Tonylou Awards, scheduled for Aug. 8 and 9 at Newberry Hall. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., and the play will begin at 8.

"It's a play on the Tony awards," Ms. Cloud said.

Thurmond Whatley, of the Aiken Community Playhouse, will direct the interactive murder-mystery.

The play is not very long, so there will be additional entertainment during the night.

"This is our biggest fundraiser and a membership drive," Ms. Cloud said.

Tickets are $50 each.

For tickets or more information, call (803) 649-2221.

Reach Charmain Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.

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